Oral health for busy lives

The Aus­tralian Den­tal As­so­ci­a­tion’s Den­tal Health week kicks off on Au­gust 7 - how are your den­tal habits?

Monthly Chronicle - - Health & Well-Being -

tooth brush­ing and floss­ing, but used af­ter­wards as an ad­junct to freshen breath.

Drink­ing wa­ter, re­duc­ing sug­ary-laden snacks and drinks be­tween meals and chew­ing sugar-free gum for 20 min­utes af­ter a meal will also re­duce the acid­ity in the mouth and re­duce tooth de­cay.

Chil­dren’s or baby teeth should be cleaned as soon as they ap­pear by us­ing a clean wet cloth or face washer, morn­ing and be­fore bed­time.

At 12 months (or ear­lier if tol­er­ated) an in­fant tooth­brush can be used with wa­ter and the child should start to learn to spit while brush­ing.

At 18 months, low flu­o­ride chil­dren’s tooth­paste the size of a grain of rice on a soft chil­dren’s tooth­brush can be used. This can be in­creased to a pea size at the age of three if the child is able to spit so as to avoid swal­low­ing tooth­paste.

Once the baby teeth are through and touch­ing each other, gen­tle floss­ing can be started, at night time.

As a gen­eral rule par­ents should brush and floss their chil­dren’s teeth un­til the child gets their ‘pen li­cence’ - usu­ally around eight to ten years old.

Avoid overnight feed­ing for ba­bies such as milk in a bot­tle at bed­time as it can lead to tooth de­cay. A visit to the den­tist is rec­om­mended by the child’s first birth­day and from then on, ev­ery six months.

Five or six min­utes in a 24 hour day is all it takes to look af­ter our teeth and gums to main­tain proper long term oral and sys­temic health.

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